Will it be Minor or White?
When I called B.B. Abbott this morning, I jokingly asked him if his Draft party was going to be similar to the ones that Drew Rosenhaus throws for his top prospective NFL clients.
Before he could even provide an answer, he received another call from a scout and provided every indication that he’s among the many agents, who are going to be swamped today while fielding calls from clubs that are investigating the signability of the players they’re advising.
Based on what I’ve seen from the video that MLB.com has provided, it’s a shame that the Braves likely won’t have the opportunity to grab Zach Wheeler, the lanky right-hander from suburban Atlanta’s East Paulding High School.
Instead while serving as Wheeler’s advisor, Abbott is likely to find himself negotiating a bonus with either the Orioles or Giants, who are selecting directly in front of the Braves, who will be making the seventh overall pick tonight.
If Wheeler is gone, the Braves could grab the University of North Carolina’s Alex White, a 6-foot-4 right-hander who some consider to be the second-best collegiate pitching prospect behind Stephen Strasburg.
But within his final Mock Draft, MLB.com’s Draft guru, Jonathan Mayo predicts that Braves director of scouting Roy Clark will pass on taking a fellow Tar Heel and instead grab Mike Minor, a left-hander from Vanderbilt University.
I’m going with what Mayo projects because as Clark said yesterday, “Jonathan really knows his stuff.”
While heading the Braves scouting department since 2000, Clark has gained a strong reputation as being one of the game’s top talent evaluators.
With his contract expiring at the end of this year, the Braves will need to do whatever possibile to keep him and consequently prolong the link to Paul Snyder, the great scout who was instrumental to the rebirth of their organization during the late 1980s.
While doing some research on Garret Anderson last week, I learned that that Angels took him with the 125th overall selection in the 1990 First-Year Player Draft. With their fourth-round selection coming 22 picks earlier, the Braves grabbed an outfielder named Johnny Walker.
This leads me to wonder if Clark and his staff started sipping some Johnnie Walker after grabbing Chipper Jones with the first overall pick that year.
Speaking of Jones, the dude is currently on fire. When he singled in the fifth inning last night, it marked the eighth consecutive plate appearance during which he reached safely. It also made him 6-for-6 since encountering that dizzy spell on Saturday night.
Last week, Jones said that the summer would make Turner Field more suitable to the Braves offense and once again his words have proven prophetic. Since totaling eight homers during their first 22 home games, the Braves have hit 10 homers during their past seven game at The Ted.
It was encouraging to see Kris Medlen allow just one hit over three scoreless innings and notch the win last night. It seems like the rookie hurler has overcome those nerves that marred his first two career starts and he now finds himself in a position where he could prove to be a key reliever during the rest of this season.
When we’ve talked about making trades that take advantage of a particular area of strength, we’ve been referencing moves like the Pirates made last week when they dealt Nate McClouth to the Braves with the confidence that Andrew McCutchen would be capable of handling their center field duties.
While recording two triples and finishing about 15 feet short of the homer he needed to record a cycle during Monday four-hit performance, McCutchen certainly had to calm the emotions of those Pirates fans who were furious last week when they learned that McLouth had been dealt.
With his talent, McCutchen isn’t going to be one of those speed demons like Emilio Bonifacio, who energized the Marlins lineup for about a week before falling victim to Major League scouting reports.
Those same reports, which also played a part in Jordan Schafer’s struggles, will soon start to affect McCutchen. But from what I saw last night and during Spring Training, my dad and friends might want to stop bashing the trade and simply enjoy the fact that they’ve still got a potential superstar in center field.
Speaking of Schafer, he felt some discomfort in his left wrist during a swing on Friday night and was evaluated by a doctor on Monday. I should have some more information tonight, when the Braves may also reveal the results of the MRI exam Brandon Jones underwent with the hope of finding out what is causing his left knee discomfort.